Sunday, September 30, 2012

Return to Natural Falls State Park

We pulled out of Eureka Springs around 10:30 this morning and moved down the road slowly. It was very overcast and there were tons on motorcycles and RV's on the road. We drove only as far as Natural Falls State Park.

This is the end of the big Blues, Bar B Q and Bike rally. They estimate there are over 400,000 people attend this each year.

The park is almost full. We decided we would stay here a couple of days and give the bikers time to get home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where's the Elk?

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 82 Low 64, Sunny

We had a great day today. My cousin Reesa and husband (Bill) took us out for a tour and to see the elk. Reesa told us she knew this area where we could get pictures of the elk grazing. Very exciting!

First thing on the agenda was breakfast. They took us to Granny’s. Granny’s is a really neat family owned restaurant. Our breakfast was big and delicious. Thanks Bill and Reesa for breakfast.

 Next stop, Huntsville Pantry. What a neat place. This is a Amish grocery and restaurant.  They have lots of bulk foods and a deli with all kinds of wonderful cheeses.

 From there we drove through the mountains and looked at all the beautiful views. The area is loaded with some neat barns and old buildings.

 We drove to the valley area where the elk graze. Guess what?

We didn’t see any elk.

Bill drove us to the Ponco Elk Education Center. We walk through the center and educated ourselves on the area wildlife.   

 We found an elk. Not the elk we were looking for!

No, that’s not it either!

Bill then drove us over to a beautiful park with a hiking trail. We walked the trail a short distance and then it started raining, so back to the car.

 From there we drove back through the area where the elk graze.

Still NO elk! But we did find a pair of Trumpeter Geese. They are large and beautiful.

 From there Bill drove us to the Buffalo River. Very nice.

Reesa suggested we have lunch at a place she recently heard about in Low Gap. We pulled up to the Low Gap CafĂ©. Looks like an old gas station. We went in to find a cool little restaurant with a wonderful food. They have an extended Italian menu but also serve sandwiches and burgers. Dawn, Bill and I had cheeseburgers and Reesa had roast beef open face sandwich. WOW! It was delicious. The prices were very reasonable too.  Thanks Bill and Reesa for lunch. Dawn and I are starting to sound like meal moochers. We tried to pay the tab but they wouldn’t let us.

 Back in the car, Bill drove us back through the valley where the elk graze. No elk. We all decided to give up on the idea and Bill was driving us back in the direction of home when low and behold, we spotted elk in the river bottom.

Needless to say, my Nikon memory card was full and I had to use our little pocket Kodak. This was the best I could do.

Thanks Bill and Reesa for a great day. We had a blast and I didn’t even mention the incident when Reesa knocked over her tea glass!!!! The waitress gave her a plastic mug with a lid on it after that!! Before we left the waitress gave us all Low Gap Cups with lids.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time to Head South

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 82 Low 69, Sunny

The weather here has turned out beautiful. We are enjoying nice cool days and cooler nights.

We love being able to travel whenever and wherever we want. We’ve enjoyed our time here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. There are so many beautiful things to see and the mountain views are gorgeous. I’ve taken thousands of pictures while we’ve been here.

 However, it’s time for us to wrap up our visit here. We normally don’t stay a month at a location with the exception of Rockport for the winter. To date we’ve managed to escape parks before getting kicked out!

Eureka Springs is one of those places we thought we might need more than a couple of weeks to explore.  We were right and have stayed a month. We’re so glad we did.
 One real plus is having awesome cousins that live in the area. We’ve been able to spend some time with them. It was also wonderful having someone to act as our personal tour guide. My cousin, Reesa took us to places we would’ve never found on our own.

It’s now that time of the year that we begin our migration south for the winter. Our plan is to take our time in our migration since we have a month before our winter retreat begins. It will be good to see our winter friends again.

We also look forward to pulling out of here and returning to the laid back atmosphere of the state parks.

We don’t mind staying in private RV parks and it’s definitely more economical, especially when you stay an extended amount of time. Generally in a private park the sites are crowded together. I get it, they need to make money!

We like to have room to stretch out. We don’t want to hear the T.V from the rig next door. We want to be able to open the windows when the weather permits without hearing our neighbors.

State parks are expensive but sometimes it just seems worth it to have the room to stretch out and enjoy the outdoors without having someone you don’t know parked right on top of you.

Anyway, it’s time to get busy and prepare for our next road trip.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Historic Eureka Springs Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 87 Low 60, Sunny

Dawn and I were up before 6:00 this morning because the dogs heard thunder. Abby get very nervous when she hears thunder.

We weren’t up thirty minutes and the storm had passed. Oh well, we were already wide awake. We fed the dogs their breakfast and we took our showers. We decided it would be a good day to take the trolley and see a few more sites in town.

We bought a two day pass for $8.00 each and caught the trolley in front of the RV Park. First stop downtown depot. There we hopped onto another trolley. This trolley drove out of town a few miles to the Thorncrown Chapel.  

The Chapel is located in a wooded area on side of the mountain and is forty-eight feet tall. It’s a beautiful building built of wood and glass.

It has over 6,000 square feet of glass. The walls are glass and the middle of the roof is glass too. The Thorncrown Chapel opened on July 10, 1980.  It is free to the public and it is worth a visit.

Our next stop was to Myrtie Mae’s restaurant for lunch. We had a great lunch and then hopped on the next trolley to the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel. 

This is a beautiful mountaintop hotel. This hotel is 126 years old. We walked through the hotel and its grounds. 

The drive up to the hotel is impressive. The trolley navigated through narrow residential streets with many hairpin curves.

Our next stop was back downtown through the historic area of the city. 

Once downtown, we shopped for a minute between trolley hops.

After shopping we hopped the next trolley back to the RV park.

We were tired when we got back to the fiver.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Touring the Ozarks

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 73 Low 46, Sunny

We had a great day touring the Ozark area compliments of Reesa. Reesa is my cousin and she lives in this area.

Shortly after getting into her car, she suggested we stop and have breakfast before beginning our tour. She said she knew a great place for breakfast just up the road. A moment later we were pulling up to a convenience store out in the middle of NO WHERE!

O.K, I am not above grabbing a coke and a sweet roll for breakfast. But when we got inside there was a restaurant serving breakfast. It was great. We had eggs, hash browns, bacon, biscuits & gravy for approximately $4.50. Once we filled our stomachs with breakfast it was back into the car to start our tour.

Let me say that Reesa took her job as tour guide very seriously. First stop, the War Eagle Mill. This is a beautiful area. The Mill is a working water-powered gristmill. The original mill was built in the War Eagle River valley in 1832. The mill sells a variety of flours and meals, ground on the premises. There is also a gift shop and a restaurant. It’s a beautiful place full of history. I took tons of pictures.

War Eagle Mill

Back in the car we talked and laughed to our next stop which was Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area. This is Arkansas's largest state park in land area, covering 12,056-acres. There we stopped by the visitor’s center. It’s a beautiful place with interesting exhibits.

Back in the car for more talking and laughing to our next stop which was Pea Ridge National Military Park. 

The park is a 4,300 acre battlefield that honors those who fought for their beliefs. The story is on March 7-8, 1862, 26,000 soldiers fought here to decide the fate of Missouri and the West.  Pea Ridge was one of the most pivotal Civil War battles and is the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States. 

At this Park you pay $10.00 and they give you a map so you can drive through the area. There are 11 stops. Each stop is marked with a sign explaining what took place in that area. I like history but in my opinion, save your money! The most we saw was a few cannons, a rebuilt tavern and a few deer. 

We left there laughing about how we paid money to drive through a field and read a few signs!

Back in the car with more talking and laughing while Reesa drove us through downtown Rogers, Arkansas. Downtown has a lot of beautiful old buildings with a mix of architecture.

Can I just say we kept on talking and laughing to our next stop which was lunch at Abuelo's Mexican restaurant! We haven’t had Mexican food in weeks and this was the best. Thank you Reesa.

Back in the car we were so full we talked and laughed less, NOT.

Reesa took us to another convenience store that she likes to stop by. On the outside it looks like any other fuel station/ convenience store. It’s the White Oak Station and Market. 

Holy Cow! This is the first gourmet convenience store I’ve ever been in. They have foods from all over the world. They also have a restaurant with gourmet pizza and a large salad bar. We walked around in that store for more than 30 minutes. Way Cool!

We had a great day and were exhausted when we got back to the fiver.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Branson, Missouri and Friends

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 74 Low 63, Rain

We are feeling so much better and decided we would drive over to Branson, Missouri and spend the day with Bud and Bette.

The only thing holding us back was I didn’t want to leave until the people parked beside us left. It’s kind of a long story but I’ll try to make it short.

Last Thursday a group of 12 RV’s pulled into the park. It was an older group of people. The oldest in the group pulled his fifth wheel (25 Foot) next to our fiver. When I say next to, I mean he pulled so close that his slide out would have hit our bedroom slide if he would have extended it. This little old man was over 80 and sat on a crocheted pillow in his truck.

I was a nervous wreck as I watched out the window. He got out of his truck and looked things over and then he proceeded to pull his trailer forward. He finally pulled completely out of the site slinging gravel everywhere and almost taking the rear corner of our fiver with him. Once he got passed our fiver I breathed a sigh of relief that he was moving to another site.

Oh, NO, a minute later he was back. This time he pulled in with more distance between us and him. Let me say, all the sites here are gravel. This man only knows fast and brake. He was slinging gravel forward and back. It took him about thirty minutes to get situated into his site.

Now back to us leaving to visit friends in Branson. I wanted to wait until this man pulled out before leaving in case he did snag our fiver, I would be here to get insurance information from him. Meanwhile, I got ready for Branson and prayed the entire time that there would be no incidents when he pulled out.

Well, he pulled out about about 8:30 and it was without incident. Thank you Lord.

We pulled out about 9:00 and headed to Table Rock Lake at Branson. It was raining and we encountered some foggy too. The drive was a little nerve wracking because we didn’t know the roads and they were steep and curvy.  In some places it was so foggy that I couldn’t drive faster than 30 mph.  

We did make it to Table Rock Lake in Branson in about an hour and half. The rain finally stopped just before we reached the lake.

It was so good to see Bud and Bette. We visited with them for a while when their daughter Melinda and her husband, Frosty showed up. We all loaded up in their van and drove to the Landing at Branson for lunch.

Lunch was great. We had a good lunch and a great visit. After lunch we walked along the landing was checked out the shops. A few hours later we were back in the van touring Branson.  Frosty drove us around and showed us the sites. I took a lot of pictures.

Dawn and I said our good byes at 5:30 and drove back to Eureka Springs. The drive was nice without the rain and fog.

We were tired when we got back to the fiver! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feeling Much Better

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 65 Low 59, Sunny

It looks like we are going to live after all!  We are finally feeling better.

It looks like a Holiday Rambler convention around here. There is a club that rolled in on Thursday.

It has rained here for the last two days. It is a nice slow rain. This area really needs the rain. Yesterday we drove into Berryville to Wal-Mart and picked up some groceries and more cough and cold medicine. Last night we did laundry.  

This morning we got up got dressed and went for breakfast. It was nice just getting out and moving around. It’s still raining so we stopped by a few shops.

Funny Name!!!!
Ozark Shopping

 We did all the shopping we could do and came back to the fiver to relax. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Surprise Visitors

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 89 Low 62, Sunny

We are still trying to recover from this head cold stuff. We had a late breakfast. After breakfast I went outside and sat in a chair soaking up the wonderful weather.

Dawn joined me after a while. We met a woman walking her dog and had a nice visit with her.

A little later I noticed a truck driving into the park that looked similar to our friends Bud and Bette from Missouri. It also had Missouri license plates too. As it pulled up to our fiver I realized it was Bud and Bette!

What a really nice surprise! They are camping at Table Rock Lake at Branson and decided to drive 50 miles to pay us a visit. So glad they did.

We had a nice visit. We wish would both felt better but we decided we would go to Branson as soon as we feel better and let them show us around.

  Want to know what Otis does when he wants to be alone?

Monday, September 10, 2012

We're Sick!

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wanderlust RV Park, 
Weather Condition; High 85 Low 62, Sunny

We haven’t done much of anything since Friday. I thought I was suffering from a severe case of allergies but realized late Friday evening that I was coming down with a terrible cold. I felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck. By Saturday morning I was feeling really bad and knew I was down for the count.

We have laid around and did nothing on Sunday Dawn also suffering with a head swollen full of SNOT!

Today I feel better but Dawn is still suffering.

We’ve got to start feeling better so we can start doing some serious exploring of this area.

We are hoping tomorrow we are back on our feet and feeling at least 50%.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cool Weather

This is just a quick post to say we are two very happy people right now.

About an hour ago it was 99 degrees out and then the sky clouded up and the rain fell and now it's 68 degrees here and the weatherman said it will be in the low 80's during the day all week and lows in the 50's at night.

We are HAPPY girls!

Dinner with Cousins

We spent yesterday hanging around the fiver. In the late afternoon a cool front come through and the temperature dropped about 5 degrees.

We had dinner with my cousin Resa and her husband Bill. They live about fifteen miles from Eureka Springs. 

She told me she would meet us at an intersection near her house and we could follow her to her house, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to find it because she lives off the beaten path.

We met her at the intersection as instructed. She told us her house was about five miles down the road. We followed her down the highway about two miles and then she turned onto a rock road. This road twisted and curved for what seemed like forever into the thick woods. Dawn and I were in aw about how far off the paved road she lived. She then pulled up to a gate and we processed up a narrow rock driveway for a good ways. We weren’t even sure if we were still in the same state!

Resa and Bill have a beautiful home that sets in the woods. It’s a very peaceful place.

Resa prepared a wonderful dinner. Boy, what a dinner we had! T-Bone steaks, salad, beans, loaded potatoes and rolls. She also served warm apple pie with ice cream. WOW!

We sat around the dining room table and talked and laughed until almost 11:00 P.M.

Thanks again Bill and Resa for a great dinner and lots of laughs.